Talk of the Town - November 2018
It turns out the city was actually founded in 1818 - making 2018 the 200th year since its establishment. Find out what's in store!
- story by Lisa Monti
Due to weather concerns, the bicentennial celebration will take place at 3pm at the Hancock County Historical Society on Cue Street (next to the Courthouse), to celebrate past and present community leaders who have made Bay Saint Louis one of the best small towns in America.
1818 - 2018: A new beginning - literally.
The bicentennial celebration on December 8, 2018, won't be as elaborate as the 1958 centennial observance (click here to read an account of that one), but this one will be more historically accurate.
It turns out that centennial event was 40 years off the mark.
Recently, historic district resident Chris Roth did the math while reading a book about Cat Island, which stated that the city was incorporated in 1818.
Talk of the Town
The four living mayors and their families will be special guests at the ceremony. Other invited guests include the governor and lieutenant governor.
The English name didn’t sit well with the town residents of French descent, who preferred calling it Bay St. Louis, after the body of water named by Bienville for French King Louis IX. Local officials took the emphatic step in 1858 to reincorporate the town once again as Shieldsborough, hoping the name would stick. But in 1875, city officials reincorporated yet again with the name Bay St. Louis.
The convoluted succession of maneuvers might have been why Bay residents chose 1958 to celebrate the city’s centennial, even though the city was actually 140 years old. Nonetheless, it was a huge community celebration when men grew beards, people wore period costumes and wooden nickels were prized currency.
This year’s celebrants will find the city enjoying its well earned reputation as a welcoming community filled with diversity and creativity that people want to visit and be part of as part-time or full-time residents.
“We want the public to know this is happening,” Roth said. “This is an historical event for our city and we want to make sure that our citizens are made aware of this milestone and hope those who can, will join us in the celebration.”